World Coins

Royal Dutch Mint honors 'flying house-wife' on coin

An athlete known as ‘the flying housewife’ appears on new coins from the Royal Dutch Mint.

World War II was still fresh in Europe’s mind when Fanny Blankers-Koen delivered a world-class performance at the 1948 Olympic Games in London. 

She won four gold medals: in the 100 meters, 200 meters, 80 meters hurdles and 4 x 100 meters relay. 

With this feat, the athletics star put the Netherlands on the proverbial map in one fell swoop. As a mother of two children, her achievements rightfully earned her the title “the flying housewife.” 

Her many successes between 1935 and 1955 prompted the International Association of Athletics Federations in 1999 to name her the best female athlete of the 20th century. 

In designing the official Blankers-Koen commemorative coins, visual artists Suzan Drummen and Monique Wijbrands were inspired by the runner’s characteristics and achievements, according to the Royal Dutch Mint, and the designs exemplify speed. Dynamics in the designs of both sides refer to Blankers-Koen’s momentum and power.

On the reverse, her speed is reflected in a dial with second indicators surrounding a repeated line image of a woman running. Her name appears in the outer border, while each coin’s denomination appears in the design’s center.

Drummen and Wijbrands’ rotating line silhouette of King Willem-Alexander on the obverse evokes movement as well. 

The Fanny Blankers-Koen coins are the second issue in the Dutch Sporting Icons series, following the 2017 release of the Johan Cruyff coins. 

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An Uncirculated copper-nickel €5 version is available in a coin card at face value. The coin weighs 10 grams, measures 29 millimeters in diameter and has a mintage limit of 60,000 pieces.

A Brilliant Uncirculated copper-nickel €5 has the same specifications but a mintage limit of 17,000 pieces. It is offered for €12.50, also in coin card.

A Proof silver €5 version weighs 15.5 grams and measures 33 millimeters in diameter. The Proof silver €5 coins have a mintage limit of 7,000 pieces (which includes 1,500 pieces devoted to a set option). Individual coins are priced €49.95. 

A Proof .900 fine quarter-ounce gold €10 coin has also been issued for the athlete. It has a mintage limit of 1,000 pieces and is offered for €389.95 from the mint.

Additional product offerings, including a set of three selectively colorized, gilded, or rose-gold gilded Proof silver €5 coins, in an offering of 500 sets, are detailed at the Royal Dutch Mint website

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